Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, a prominent retired psychiatrist, has apologized to the gay community for a study he did ten years ago that concluded that gay people can go straight.
Spitzer, formerly of Columbia University, now believes his work did not show that.
For the study, 200 people, who claimed that they had changed, were interviewed. In a letter published by Spitzer, he now believes the “fatal flaw” in the study was that there as no way to judge the credibility of their accounts.
The study made lots of headlines in 2001, when Spitzer presented his work at an American Psychiatric Association meeting. This was mostly due to the fact that Spitzer had been a leader for 30 years in removing homosexuality from the list of mental disorders in the association’s diagnostic manual.
His study was criticized by many over the reliability of the accounts from the interviewed. At the time, Spitzer himself, even acknowledged he had no proof that their stories were accurate.
Now Spitzer believes his reasoning was wrong, as “there was no way to determine if the subject’s accounts of change were valid.”